There was something about Monday... an incredibly, unusually languid London day. Had planned to meet my friend Erinn at the V&A courtyard, and after a few hours chatting, I took off my shoes to wade & cool off and presumably, write, but instead, I just had the most extraordinary time, photographing. I can't explain: it was like everything was a photographic image. Cinematic.. filmic. This is just one series. I love what was going on in the background, compositionally. And the geometry of this girl's dress, and hair.

lost in translation

I love the scene in Lost in Translation, when Scarlett Johansson's character is telling Bill Murray how lost she is, she even dabbled in photography for a while 'but I was always doing something stupid, like photographing my feet.'

At which point, my husband nudged me. I've been shooting my feet since I first got my hands on a camera. It's an ongoing series: I'm fascinated with feet, as objects: the way they age. I don't know what it is about feet - or the shoes that we put on the feet - but there just are an infinite number of variations. And don't even get me started on nail polish.

My feet are wearing Revlon's Sunshine Sparkle (042), which to my mind is a more pleasing, paler version of yellow than Chanel's Mimosa, which is a bit.. hard core. Although, ironically, it doesn't sparkle, not like the lovely little pot of the Swiss brand Mavala's Acid Yellow, (123) which is truly bright and sparkly: like a sprinkling of glittery gold dust.

I'd like to start playing around with the pale turquoise colours, as stripes or a colour block version of a French manicure.

Shot, by me, at the V&A courtyard, on Monday: our one hot day of the summer. We're back to blustery conditions here in South Ken. Even the cat is cold, and he's got a fur coat on.


like a rainbow

When it rains, it pours.

Having such a fun chilled night, multi tasking: Mr. Dot keeps trying to get me to watch Wimbledon with him, and my attention was diverted with tweets about Christopher Kane's 2011 resort collection, which got me so freakin' inspired I started playing around in photoshop some MORE. I'm grabbing the opportunity of him talking on the phone to post this, against the background of Wimbledon highlights, at high volume.

It's uncanny, actually: I SWEAR to you, when I started going in this direction with David Koma's line from last September last night, I hadn't yet seen Christopher Kane's rainbow designs - which I've then adapted to what I was already doing. Sorry if that doesn't make sense: the tennis is on really loud. Claps of thunder in the Centre Court, the roar of the crowd.. 'what a way to lose the game', as the announcer just said.

I don't know if they still do this, but when we were younger, we'd do these paintings we called 'scratch boards'. I started the day chatting on facebook with a friend from school, and another from work, about our favourite Crayola crayon colour (periwinkle, hands down) which led me to thinking about how we'd draw rainbow colours on white board with crayons, then paint them with black paint. Then you scratch away the paint, revealing the rainbow.

And lo and behold, I'm ending my day seeing it manifest before my very eyes, with these gorgeous lace numbers:

While I don't love everything in this collection - he's not a god, after all - I just cannot decide which of these looks shown here I love more. There is a genius to this man. But David Koma, for me.. oh, let's face it: both guys are simply wonderful. I tip my hat to you both.

pool math


..plus this..

..equals this. Catwalk shot (& photoshop) by me, at Somerset House, September 2010 (David Koma show, s/s 2011). Pool shot of me, by Maryann, last summer, as before.

Rain, rain, go away. Little Jilly wants to play. What a wacky summer! Global warming, my foot.

buy a tee shirt, save japan

Mr. Dot took the day off - I cancelled the first part of a dental situation that had me in agony for months (root canal - now I need a new crown) - which means I'll be on holiday with the temporary crown - so that we could swim, outside, in Surrey today.

I love the saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

As I write this, there is a huge thunderstorm rumbling outside. I can't even do my little photo shoot with my new tee shirt from Uniqlo, so I'll just post these shots and tell you about it, instead. Because, while I'm being, in the scheme of things, only very mildly inconvenienced, I am no less aware - or grateful - for all I do have. When the rain threatened to come in the window next to me and the sleeping cat, I simply closed it.

For other people, that day the tsunami hit, it wasn't that easy.

And for many people, right now, in Japan, their lives will never be the same. But we can do something to help.

There is a campaign going on, right now, at Uniqlo: the Uniqlo UT Save Japan tee shirt collection: working with Conde Nast Japan, and Vogue, they've produced a limited edition set of tee shirts, designed by ten celebrities: Alber Elbaz, Charlize Theron, Cindi Lauper, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Blake Lively, Gwyneth Paltrow, Orlando Bloom, and Nicole Kidman.

It's ironic that they chose, for me, Charlize Theron, out of the ten. I love what she wrote. It is the core of my beliefs.

This also has a very personal connection- which makes it all the more uncanny, how random it was that I got her shirt. At the most difficult time in my life, just as I was at that 'jumping off' moment, I was in a Cafe Nero, and just happened to be reading an interview with her. She had been through an unbelievable ordeal, and when asked how she did it, she modestly said something quite similar to what she wrote for the shirt. That day, Charlize Theron saved me.

Not to mention, Mr. Dot, when he saw it, remarked that it is 'very high quality.' I'm wearing it, as we speak. Warm and cosy and comfortable and safe from harm's way.

Click here: WWW.UNIQLO.COM, or go to any of the Uniqlo shops. I'll do a self style shoot with it - if it ever stops raining.

(Thank you also to Savoir Flair for inadvertently letting me steal their photo of Charlize Theron).

pool koma

Hope David doesn't mind.. having Fun with Photoshop, using my shots from last September (S/S 2011, David Koma, Somerset House).


pool blue, wimbledon whites

It's here! Sunshine, in the 80s.. must be summer! It's not gonna last, apparently - UK will cool off again at 'the end of the week' so must grab every moment. Gather yee rosebuds, etc.

I'm playing around with photoshop again - collaging onto designers' collections - but first I'm showing you some of my photographic ingredients. David Koma's lovely white dress from his S/S 2010 show (one of my favourite shows btw), a shot of me in Ben's girlfriend Lisa's pool, shot by my one of my closest friends since we travelled Europe together during college - Maryann - last summer, and last but not least, me and my niece Scarlett, on the rooftop pool at the Gainsvoort Hotel, NYC, enough summers ago that no one should mind me showing the photos: she is a totally different, more grown up girl now. Unrecognisable. I remember that day, she was doing my nails and I admired what a good job she was doing (she was like, 5), and she just took the compliment in her stride and said 'Yes, I know. It's a gift.'

Notice the little star tattoo on the runway model? I'm not one for tattoos, generally, but that one, where it is... so cool. Good for the make up artists, for not covering it up. Or maybe it IS makeup - thus, intentional.

Must run. Will start the series later. Wishing you a beautiful Monday, wherever in the world you are. xox


rat in the kitchen, rat on your head: reid's rats

If anyone is reading this while having lunch (UK/Greenwich Mean Time), breakfast (US - Eastern Seaboard) or any other meal anywhere in the world - probably best to turn away from your screen now. Because I'm going to talk about my friend Reid Peppard, and her rats.

It's not just rats. It's road kill. Fox molars. It's the kind of gross stuff that makes girls go 'yuck'.

Reid is brilliant. She's beautiful, for starts - a California girl who graduated from Central Saint Martins, lives with her artist boyfriend in East London, works at her studio every day, come rain, come shine, and who at the moment, has a Snot Bag for a head, so I'm doing this post as a little get well gift. Along with a little ditty from UB40, which you can click on now as background music for this post:

Reid is an artist, taxidermist, and accessories designer: real, gorgeous serious jewelry, and headpieces - even, as I discovered altho she's too modest to mention it, the 'rat headpiece' worn by Lady Gaga.

Stuffing rats for head gear is not all she does, of course. She's a conceptual artist, possessed of a beautiful mind, and she doesn't cause any deaths, but - this is an important part of her work, because she is strictly anti-meat eating - she only uses road kill, i.e., animals that are already dead. After writing yesterday about the ethics in clothing - and thank you to all who wrote those wonderful comments- I now turn to the controversy surrounding food. Opening THAT whole can o' worms.

Reid Peppard is one of those rare creatures: beautiful, smart, talented, massively funny, generous spirited, gentle, and kind. And - lucky me - Reid is also my friend.

Reid is wearing a vintage leather jacket with shoulder pads big and tough enough for a game of American touch tackle football. Check out Reid's Rats (RP/Encore), let me know what you think - and get well soon, Snot Bag Head.


prime mark

This was a strange Monday.

I met up with some lovely friends first thing in the morning - didn't bring my camera, it's been so cold and dark, there's not much style on the street. I even thought, as I crossed the street in South Ken/Knightsbridge, and saw Chanel (and thought of Pearl, who unbeknownst to me, was at that very same moment, posting about Primark), that it's kind of surreal, in JUNE, to be seeing next Autumn/Winters' clothing in the window and thinking 'Yeah, I wish I was wearing that jacket now, it looks so WARM.'

It was as if the mannequins looked so sad because they were thinking 'another summer day gone by, and I STILL can't go swimming.'

Street style at the moment seems to be more about staying warm and dry and protected from the elements, so no one seems in the mood to friggin' colour block, or wear our little short shorts or wispy frocks - a wafty maxi in a bright colour would look absolutely ridiculous on the London streets. So minutes after snapping the Chanel window with my phone camera, I saw this girl outside South Ken tube. I hesitated but she was standing in such a cool way (not this shot - I didn't shoot her) - it was kind of like a ballet fifth position, and she looked like she was waiting for someone.

I wish I remembered her name! She was so nice (hopefully she'll get in touch: she's visiting London from Edinburgh, so chances are she hasn't got her laptop with her). I admired her dress and asked if it was vintage and she smiled and said 'no, Primark.'

Which brings me to my rant.

I received a very nice email from someone who I guess works with Primark, letting me know about the recent BBC tribunal clearing them of the child labour charges. This video explains it much better than I ever could, and it's really worth watching (it only takes six minutes):

I've since spent much of my morning looking into the history of Primark, which isn't in the States, but is somehow affiliated with JC Penney (I believe). And maybe it's because the founder - who stepped down a few years ago, but is still on the board - shares my father's name, Arthur - or maybe it's simply because I can't wrap my head around why some person, who was GETTING PAID BY THE BBC to produce a show for Panorama, would go to the lengths he did to fabricate a story to bring down a company. Frankly - and I mean this in the most personal way - I just don't understand anyone going to any lengths to cause another human being, or group of human beings, harm. If you don't want to shop in a shop for whatever reason, don't. If you don't want to be friends with someone, or don't want to sleep with someone, or don't want to work for someone.. don't. But what possible good did this guy see in lying about a brand? Did he see himself like some kind of hero, a Man of the People sticking it to Big Business? I just don't get it.

As someone who tends to try to see any situation - political, or in business - as coming down to human beings, my first thoughts when I realised that this has been going on since 2008 is that that is a lot of legal fees for Primark to have to clear their good name. A lot of time, and sleepless nights. I imagined that somewhere, ultimately, there would be one person who had created this brand - even tho countless people worked hard to continue to make it successful - someone who might be a father (or, a mother) with perhaps children, (in this case, possibly even grandchildren - the founder, who is still on the board, is 76) - and it broke my heart when I read the wikipedia story. This is a very impressive company, who are providing inexpensive clothing and other goods for us all.

Yes, I understand that Chanel is Chanel. Good for Chanel.

And I understand about how it's all about the construction, and the quality of fabrics, but - while I hesitate to speak ill of the dead - I can remember, in 2009, being in Harvey Nicks and seeing one of McQueen's dresses - those kind with the digital prints - and the prints on the seams didn't remotely line up. And I looked at the price tag. And it just didn't seem right, somehow. That dress could have fed a family of five for a year, in most of the world's countries, and they couldn't be bothered lining up the patterns on the seams.

And even if I was in one of the top 50 richest families on the planet (which, incidentally, I am not) I STILL wouldn't dress in top to toe Chanel, or any other designer. I have some friends who are royalty, and some are from the wealthiest families on the planet, some are even famous, (no names), and guess what: they still proudly point out, when asked, that they're wearing something from H&M, or Topshop, or, yes, even Primark. (I remember my ex sister in law, a Brit who lives in NY, having returned from London, showing me her stash of Primark goods - she actually introduced me to them, that day at my brother's farmhouse in upstate NY. I can still remember her eyes bulging wildly as she pointed to a skirt and telling me how ridiculously cheap it was - and another item - and another, until finally she ripped open her blouse and pulled her bra strap out and said 'this bra: four pounds. FOUR POUNDS!!)

And - for what it's worth - it was a fabulous bra, at that.

Whew. I'm done. That felt good ; )

So: what do you think? Truthfully. Was the BBC apology reasonable and just? Was it enough? There wasn't any mention, I noticed, about any slap on the wrist to the producer, or any consequences. (When I went thru my own ElleGate hell last winter, for example, altho I was offered compensation, I never got it - or even a proper apology. And the girl at Elle.es, far as I know, has gone unpunished, and her reward is, in a country that was, according to Hachete Filipachhi's lawyers, 'too poor to pay the compensation fee' - she's still got her job! And, I might add: I have nothing but love for the Elle brand, which has since been sold by HF. I always knew it was about two nasty little women, in an office in Madrid - and would never seek revenge on the company, or any of its hard working employees. And I certainly would never seek to distort the truth.)

You can read more about the Primark story on Primark's site, and tell them how you feel.


this is a man's world

But it wouldn't mean nothing, without a woman, or a girl.

Photos, by me, at the Hay Festival, May-June, 2011. Second shot, David Baddiel. Third, Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project, Cornwall. Fourth: not a clue, but the moment I took this shot, we both burst out laughing.


hay, happy father's day

Wishing you were here, Dad. But I know you are.

Thank you for all that you've given my mom, my siblings and I, and all who knew and loved you. Thank you for giving me your camera, and your photographic eye. But especially, thank you for listening, and looking after me, and when I was feeling down, for helping me see the bright side of any situation.

Happy Father's Day to fathers - and mothers - and daughters - and sons, everywhere.

Shot at the Hay Literary Festival, 31 May, 2011.

we are currently experiencing technical difficulties

Oh, Photobucket!

Apologies, Readers: I am stuck in a holding pattern. A Catch-22.

My Photobucket Pro account tried to renew itself with my expired credit card. It couldn't, obviously. I've tried to just pay the full fee (not direct debit) but, this being the weekend, the Photobucket System isn't letting me. Of course. Sod's Law. And all it will let me do is send emails. Which I've done. But I probably won't get this resolved til Monday. If then.

Guess this is a sign I should simply enjoy this June weekend. Hope you are, too.


gwyneth goes green

This cold rainy spell we're having in England right now means that streetstyle wise, everything is dark and dull. I'm seeing a lot of black. But when I met my friend Gwyneth just before we left for Hay, I loved how by throwing a pure green jacket on over a pair of ripped jeans - and pairing it a pair of big 70s sunglasses (I left my nearly identical pair at our friends' Guill and Miche's house over the weekend), a great scarf, and Prada bag - the green just instantly makes it spring like.

I can't say what I'd like to about the colour green any better than what Roz wrote ('simple pleasures'). It's spot on, brilliant. The symbolic multi layered meanings - and the emotions behind - any given colour. Green with envy. Green as temptation. Going green. Being green. We've become almost holier than thou about caring about the planet (Mr. Dot and I were laughing the other day- we want to start going round saying F*** the Planet. What has the Planet ever done for us? Just announce to people we've just met 'I don't care about the Planet). So in that context, Green would mean Good.

There is also SOOOO much I could say about envy, especially envy amongst women. I was having such a great talk with my (beautiful) new chum Reid Peppard about that. I felt the world was probably divided, amongst the female population, between girls' girls, and the envious bitches. The bitches dominating about 60/40 split. She paused for a beat and said 'probably more like 70/30' but we decided that's because of the 10% who pose as girls girls: wolverines in sheeps' clothing.

I could see why people would envy Gwyneth: she's gorgeous, of course, and happy, and loves her boyfriend, and loves her work (she's done a bit of modelling) and basically loves her life, has great friends, etc etc. AND she's really nice, and smart. All of which makes me happy for her, and happy to be her friend. And I've got to run out this minute so I'll shut up now. Rain forecast for the weekend: great time to see a film. I recommend Last Night. Kiera Knightly, also of Atonement, and no doubt, an object of countless women's envy, which brings this post full circle.

thinking pink

Was standing at a corner on Piccadilly, about to cross the street a while back, after a torrential rainstorm, when a Big Pink Taxi appeared out of nowhere on my right, and a woman in a hot pink shirt got in. Pulled out my Canon and got three quick shots and whoosh! away in the wet they went.

It got me thinking about Joni Mitchell's song, and wouldn't you know: she's wearing pink in the BBC video. (Oh btw: speaking of which wellies, ended up going with the dark grey wellies with hot pink trim, btw. I really did want bright pink but was scared off by the mutton dressed as lamb thought. NEXT pair will be pink. Or blue. Or, brown paisley. I've even entered Pearl's competition, so fingers crossed!)

Was talking with Amy, at Virgin Airlines, while booking flights home to the beach house on the end of Long Island. We were saying that it doesn't feel like June, more like March. And then we remembered those glorious days during Easter, when it was hot and sunny, and how we squandered them, assumed there would be more.

Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got til it's gone? They've paved paradise, put up a parking lot.


hello, sunshine!

As per yesterday, more festival style. REAL festival style.

From top: Daisha, who deals with the press and PR for the Hay festival but for other clients as well - she is FABULOUS, really cool girl. I wish I could show you the whole look: I loved the dotted white top with tan shorts. That is so what I wish I could wear if it would just ACT LIKE JUNE. 'It's raining again!' Mr. Do just said. 'Not much of a summer, is it, little cat?' (he is literally talking to the cat).

Then a lovely girl from Sky TV: they were part of a whole collection of talks, events, and even took turns wearing animal costumes of endangered species (see yesterday) which really was great on the cold days, not so much so on the hot and/or rainy ones. Soggy fur isn't a good look.

Third but not last: one of the sweet young writers selected for something I believe called the Beacon project. I forget her name but we chatted for a while when I met her with one of the others - who I shall include shortly, in my 'boy's festival style' post, coming soon.

Interesting how both in Poppy's post, and your comments/tweets/msgs, the main issue is.. uh, toilet tissue and all things port o san related. That's another things I like about the Hay Festival: gorgeous, clean port o sans, really top drawer. And lots of them.


the truth

While I don't spend much time on Twitter - life is too short - I do have favourite.. Twits? Tweeters? And one is definitely Poppy Dinsey (@PoppyD). She just cracks me up. (AHA: she just tweet msg'd me: SHE DID THE POST! click here, it's brilliant).

Something she said yesterday ('Now that I've lost my festival virginity, I want to write a really honest festival fashion guide. Because all the ones in magazines are LIES') got me thinking: I don't know about you but my inbox has been absolutely INUNDATED starting in March with festival style this, festival style that. Every high street brand has been flogging all kinds of wares in the name of 'festival style'.

And the truth is, while granted I haven't been to a music festival yet this year, judging by the more cerebral (or, so you'd think) Hay Literary Festival, I can say that the whole whispy wafty look.. you just can't really in practice pull that off in the UK, without catching a very serious cold.

So for your viewing pleasure.. my guide, for the moment, consists of this:

• dress warm

• pack rain gear: waterproof hooded thing, and ideally, wellies

• bring a wafty kaftan type maxi 70s thing if you like, but don't come crying to me if it gets ripped, stained, or muddy

• wear whatever you'd like: truly, anything goes

and when in doubt..

• leopard is is always a classic

As this guide is a work in progress, I am open to suggestion. And how timely is this, just in from Reid Peppard ('why i hate festivals'):